(The actual reason was the zig-zag time jumping way we played that and later events :mrgreen: )
But being deeply introspective during rare moments of calm is the Flambeau way. It is Roberto's way anyway.
Where he last left off, in 1244, he was a few xp away from having a score of 5 in every Art. Which is what is needed to train an apprentice. Which is what is required before becoming an Archmagus. At the start of 1245 he will have accomplished this.
He could have gunned straight for it and hit those scores much sooner. But he tends to be very inefficient. He spent most of his free time inventing more and more spells (diverting exposure xp to Arts) and not as much time in direct study as he should have.
He is also ever going off on expedition and adventure. After The Visitor, there was Escape from the City of Brass (which kinda went wonky but was just about done where we left off). In that he wound up getting his leg broken in a fight with a Jinn. Solomon tried to drain its energy but could not penetrate, Roberto, ever daring and reckless, ripped an earring from the giant and got thrown to the ground hard, resulting in a compound fracture. The earring served as an essential AC and allowed Solomon to defeat the fearsome foe. Cecelio helped to heal him with magic and Roberto did the rest. But as always, he came away from it feeling inadequate and not "tough enough".
In "War of the Roses", he managed to be successful. After defeating The Beast and granting it mercy, he did feel a little better about his ability. He also realized that maybe violence isn't always the answer. Sometimes it is, but not always.
More refinement was needed.
The main areas of development were Lab Refinement, Familiar Bond Empowerment, and more spells. The Lab and Bond is what has kept him healthy without longevity. Indeed, somewhat better than most wizards with Longevity can manage. Bond Empowerment and spells have helped make him more combat effective and suited for adventure.
But for what?
Then there is Lucien and Edith. The first the apprentice of another and the other a young maga brougt to him by Fleur. He has become mentor to them both, and has [strike]wasted[/strike] invested time in training each of them in some of his spells. As if to start his own school of magical combat (based on the Mastery of key spells).
Soon after that, there was the adventure in Barcelona. Ancient History. Therein, he once again got his @$$ handed to him. This time by a rogue Tytalus magic that was able to silent fast cast Perdo Corpus spells. He barely managed to defeat him, and Vibria (I think) was the one who managed to rescue the captive and the documents.
Skin of the teeth success.
In 1242 he visited Heracleion (according to my records, but we can change that to having vacationed elsewhere if it fits better). Then there was "The Exarch" and the mess that resulted from that. There was a rumor that he committed war crimes when he was apprentice. Which is not a false statement, but the specific incident was something Santiago had done. Roberto, loyal to his mentor, willingly took the blame and suffers the stigma on his reputation. (I will write an end for The Exarch, but) The end results are that Pietro of Flambeau has become the new Primus, but there is a Schism in the House for the followers of (the filius of Garus) do not accept the results.
Roberto wants nothing to do with these political conflicts. Not at all. But what can you do?
So here we are. 55 years old, twenty five as a magus. No apprentice. No Talisman. No children. No political accomplishment. No magical breakthroughs. No wife. Nothing.
He wonders what Wirth is up to, how his wife and son are doing. How old is the kid by now? Whatever happened to Havlard and Iolar?
In 1244 there was a proposal for an adventure, "Ancient Discovery". That probably got postponed?
Anyways, here we are in 1245. Roberto does not feel that he has been stalling, but he has been inefficient. There have been some doubts, second guessing, hints of this are scattered in the recap I just wrote. But any such feelings are fleeting. Self doubt will linger mere seconds in his thoughts before he dismisses such notions as useless and false. Overconfidence soothes the soul in that he rarely if ever blames himself for anything. Circumstances have been challenging, and he is constantly improving himself in order to meet these challenges. This takes time. Now he is ready to train an apprentice. Then he will be ready to challenge an Archmagus for the title. Then he will be Soterias equal and peer. ([size=50]But does that matter? Yes! Of course it does. No time for self doubt. Just keep moving![/size]) Then he can marry her. She is immortal. What does a delay of ten or even a hundred years matter? This is but a blink.
On my way. Almost there. I just need to stay focused and get serious.